Interview with Annette Bowles Lucas, April 27, 1990

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:05 - Introduction

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Partial Transcript: Okay, um--(laughs)--this is an oral history interview with Annette Bowles Lucas.

Segment Synopsis: The interviewer introduces his subject, Annette Bowles Lucas. She is to be interviewed for a black oral history project, which is to be donated to the University of Kentucky upon completion.

Keywords: African American history; Black Kentuckians; Oral histories

Subjects: African Americans.; University of Kentucky

00:00:44 - Childhood in Tallapoosa, Georgia

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Partial Transcript: Um, where exactly were you born at?

Segment Synopsis: Lucas talks about where she was born. She tells the interviewer her mother passed away when she was young and her father was away, working on the railroad. She talks about being taken care of by her father’s brother and his wife. She discusses her siblings, one brother and four sisters. Lucas talks about growing up on a farm in Tallapoosa, Georgia, describing the various crops they grew on the farm and the livestock they owned. Lucas tells the interviewer about different games they would play as children on the farm. She recalls owning a piano and singing spirituals around the house.

Keywords: African American social life; Cotton; Cows; Farm life; Pigs; Spirituals

Subjects: : African American families; African Americans; African Americans--Recreation; African Americans--Segregation; Childhood; Family farms; Piano; Spirituals (Songs); Tallapoosa (Ga.)

00:05:51 - Schooling / Attending church as a child

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Partial Transcript: Tell me, the school you went to, uh, was it int--I mean, did you have whites and blacks in the school?

Segment Synopsis: Lucas talks about the school she attended as a child while living in Tallapoosa, describing the layout of the school and its teachers. She discusses how she could only go to school when it rained because they would be unable to farm during the rain. Lucas then talks about the church of her childhood, including the family aspect of the church. She recalls not seeing white people often during her childhood, due to the spread-out nature of the community. Lucas talks about remembering some aspects of her childhood relating to the Great Depression, including homemade clothes made for her by her mother.

Keywords: Children of farmers; Country schools; Farm life conditions; Georgia farms; Great Depression; Social conditions; Tallapoosa (Ga.)

Subjects: African Americans--Education.; Clothing and dress.; Depressions--1929.; Teachers

00:11:45 - Moving to Lexington, Kentucky / Meeting her husband

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Partial Transcript: Now, when did you come to Lexington?

Segment Synopsis: Lucas recalls moving to Lexington in 1951, at the age of 14. She discusses her lack of political opinions during her childhood and teenage years. Lucas talks about her husband, Lonnie Lucas, a native of Lexington. She recalls meeting him while he walked on his way to work and how she realized she loved him.

Keywords: Couples; Dating; Falling in love; Personal opinions; Political opinions; Relationships

Subjects: African Americans--Kentucky--Lexington.; Blacks in Lexington; Korean War, 1950-1953; Lexington (Ky.); Marriage; Teenagers

00:16:04 - Death of Martin Luther King, Jr. / Married life

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Partial Transcript: This is around the same time that, um, Martin Luther King passed away.

Segment Synopsis: Lucas remembers where she was and what she was doing when she heard that Dr. King was assassinated. She recalls there was no rioting or anger in the streets after the death of Dr. King and doesn’t recall any reaction from the white citizens of Lexington about it. Lucas talks about her husband working for a meat packing company while she stayed home and worked as a housewife. She recalls her husband being supportive and quiet. Lucas details her responsibilities as a housewife, including keeping house and taking care of the children.

Keywords: Home life; Housewives; Personal opinions; Political opinions; Political reactions; Reactions; Stay-at-home mothers

Subjects: Civil rights demonstrations; Dual-career couples; Family life; Housewives; King, Martin Luther, Jr. 1929-1968; Lexington (Ky.); Lexington (Ky.)--Race relations.; Marriage; Mothers; United States. Civil Rights Act of 1964; Wives

00:21:39 - Reaction to Vietnam War / Part time job / Becoming a grandmother

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Partial Transcript: And then you came across the Vietnam era. How did that strike you?

Segment Synopsis: Lucas talks about how she had no reaction to the Vietnam War. She talks about how she worked at Miller’s Nursing Home as a nursing aide. She discusses the details of her job, describing it as similar to a nurse’s aide in a hospital. She talks about how she didn’t face any difficulty with her job and only quit because she needed to take care of her grandchild, which her daughter had when she was 16 years old. She talks about her happiness with having a grandchild in the house.

Keywords: Apolitical; Family daily lives; Grandmothers; Jobs; Nursing aids; Political opinions; Political reactions; Working moms; Working mothers

Subjects: African Americans--Education.; African Americans--Employment.; Discrimination in employment.; Education; Family life; Granddaughters; Lexington (Ky.); Lexington (Ky.)--Race relations.

00:27:19 - Church life in Lexington

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Partial Transcript: What church did you all attend?

Segment Synopsis: Lucas talks about the church she attended while in Lexington and the neighborhood the church was located in. She describes the church congregation, including the services and the pastor, Calvin Wallace, and how they took the bus to church every Sunday or got picked up by other members of the congregation who owned a car.

Keywords: Church buses; Church communities; Church life; Church of Christ--Lexington (Ky.); Church pastors; Weekly services

Subjects: African American churches; African American churches--Kentucky; African Americans--Social life and customs.; Lexington (Ky.)--Buildings, structures, etc.; Religion

00:29:25 - Being black in Lexington / Working at the University of Kentucky Medical Center

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Partial Transcript: Now, let's reflect back for a moment.

Segment Synopsis: Lucas talks about how she didn’t pay as much attention to her emotional feelings in regard to racial issues. She discusses some of the difficulties other black citizens of Lexington had, including demonstrations. Lucas tells the interviewer she didn’t participate in the demonstrations because she was not an emotional or reactionary person. Lucas recalls working at the University of Kentucky Medical Center and describes some difficulties she had while working there.

Keywords: Apolitical; Emotionality; Job discrimination; Medical jobs; Nursing jobs; Personal opinions; Political apathy; Political opinions; Reactionary; University jobs

Subjects: African Americans--Kentucky--Lexington--Social conditions; African Americans--Kentucky--Lexington.; African Americans--Politics and government; Blacks in Lexington; Civil rights demonstrations; Discrimination; Race relations--Kentucky--Lexington; University of Kentucky. Medical Center

00:35:34 - Family life in Lexington

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Partial Transcript: Did you find it hard to raise two kids in Lexington, at that point in time?

Segment Synopsis: Lucas talks about raising her children in Lexington and where her children went to school in Lexington. She talks about her family life after her daughter got married and had a family of her own. She discusses raising her granddaughter in Lexington, including her personality and her religious upbringing. She briefly discusses her grandson, who came along later. She talks about their different houses in Lexington and where they were located.

Keywords: Daily life; Education in Kentucky; Family daily life; Lexington families; Multi-generation families

Subjects: Childhood; Dual-career families; Families; Family life; Grandchildren; Granddaughters; Grandsons

00:41:18 - Current life in Lexington

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Partial Transcript: You, um, relocated here to Charlotte Court, when?

Segment Synopsis: Lucas discusses her current neighborhood and life in Lexington. She talks about the remodeling which took place in her house from 1975 to the current year, 1990. Lucas talks about the dynamic of her neighborhood. She goes on about the changes to the neighborhood which have gone on throughout the years she has lived in the neighborhood.

Keywords: Changes; House additions; Modern technology; Remodeling (Architecture); Renovations; Transformations

Subjects: Changes & transformations; Dwellings--Remodeling.; Lexington (Ky.)--Buildings, structures, etc.; Neighborhoods.; Neighbors

00:45:29 - The black community in Lexington

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Partial Transcript: Do you tend to notice a great change as far as the blacks being--becoming more involved in business and things of that nature?

Segment Synopsis: Lucas talks about the growth of black businesses in Lexington. She discusses the rise of drugs in the black community in Lexington and how it never affected her life as a child. She talks about her concern for the young people in the community and she believes a lack of discipline explains why many people have become dependent on drugs. Lucas discusses the responsibilities of young black women, many of them being single due to their partners being imprisoned, and why these responsibilities are unfairly put on these women as single parents. She believes the lives of young black men could be improved by better education and self-improvement. She discusses the difficult job market and how this affects the job opportunities of black men and women. Lucas and the interviewer also discuss various issues, such as the relationships between black women and black men.

Keywords: Black families; Black men; Black women; Discrimination in the judicial system; Drug use; Education opportunities; Family life; Job market; Personal opinions; Single moms; Single mothers

Subjects: African Americans--Conduct of life.; African Americans--Education--Kentucky--Lexington; African Americans--Employment.; African Americans--Social conditions.; Discrimination.; Race discrimination.

01:01:35 - Opinions on domestic violence and romantic relationships

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Partial Transcript: Our young men are viewed as irresponsible, in some cases--

Segment Synopsis: Lucas discusses her personal opinions about domestic violence and how it affects relationships. She believes sometimes male partners are provoked by their female partners to be violent, due to hurtful words. Lucas discusses her beliefs about white society’s influence on African American culture and African American relationships.

Keywords: Black society; Community self-esteem; Domestic violence; White society

Subjects: African American couples.; African Americans--Conduct of life.; African Americans--Marriage.; Discrimination.; Family violence; Race relations--Kentucky

01:04:56 - Opinions about black women / Single mother families

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Partial Transcript: Are black women becoming more independent, or are they just doing without our black males?

Segment Synopsis: Lucas talks about the rising independence of black women in American society. She believes the single parent families, which she believes are prevalent in the African American community, contribute to the lack of discipline in their children. She gives her opinion about welfare and social aid, which she agrees these families should use to support themselves if the parent is not able to work. Lucas discusses the disadvantages of a single mother raising a male child and the difficulties the mother faces in doing so.

Keywords: African American women; Child discipline; Independent women; Male children; Single parents; Welfare; Working moms

Subjects: African American children; African American families; African Americans--Crimes against.; African Americans--Economic conditions.; Children of working mothers; Welfare and society; Working mothers.

01:11:17 - Hopes for the future of black culture and society

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Partial Transcript: You, as a black woman and a senior in our society, what is it you would like to see?

Segment Synopsis: Lucas hopes society will become more equal and tolerant in the future. She wants the black community to keep working and improving their lives, as she believes this will create a better future for the community. Lucas discusses the strides the black community has made during her lifetime, including the end of segregation. She talks about her belief that black men and women need to support each other in their relationships in order to succeed. Lucas discusses how society's integration needs to continue to happen, uniting all races and colors together instead of keeping them separate or against each other.

Keywords: Afro-American culture; Afro-Americans; Black culture; Black society; Futures; Hopes for the future; Reactionary; Reactionary culture

Subjects: African American children.; African American families; African Americans--Civil rights; African Americans--Education.; African Americans--Social conditions--1975-; African Americans--Social conditions.; Interracial marriage.; Segregation.